The incident that led to the latest arrest of Redmond James O’Neal — the son of Ryan O’Neal and the late Farrah Fawcett — began in the early morning hours Tuesday, police said.
Around 2:30 a.m. that day, O’Neal tried to rob a convenience store in Santa Monica, brandishing a knife and demanding cash from the clerk, authorities said. When police were called, they found drugs and drug paraphernalia on O’Neal as well, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
O’Neal was arrested and charged with second-degree robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia and a controlled substance.
However, that would only be the beginning of O’Neal’s criminal charges.
Police said they soon connected O’Neal to a string of other violent incidents that had taken place around Southern California in the week before the convenience store robbery. A pair of arguments that ended in punches. Two stabbings, one near the Venice Beach Boardwalk, including one that left a victim in a pool of his own blood with wounds to his head. An altercation at a coffee shop that resulted in threats to the staff.
And finally, in the still-dark hours of May 8, police said, the attempted robbery of the Santa Monica convenience store.
Police said the crime rampage stopped abruptly after O’Neal’s arrest, and that each of the victims in the previous incidents had described the suspect as a red-haired man with unique tattoos, ABC7 News reported.
“They were distinct tattoos. They were identified by all the victims at the time,” Los Angeles Police Sgt. Scotty Stevens told the news station, adding that the crimes appeared to be random. “It appears, though, based on what we know now, that it just started as an argument between unknown persons and quickly escalated with the violent acts.”
Stevens did not elaborate on which tattoos the victims had remembered. Photos of O’Neal from past news reports and on social media show he has ginger-colored hair and that his torso is covered in tattoos, including one of a large, dark Superman “S” near the top of his breastbone.
On Friday, authorities announced that O’Neal has additionally been charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count each of attempted murder, criminal threats, brandishing a knife and battery.
It was the latest addition to a criminal file for O’Neal, who has a troubled history of encounters with law enforcement, as well as a publicized battle with drug addiction. O’Neal was previously convicted in 2009 of possessing a controlled substance in jail and again in 2015 of possessing a firearm as a felon, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
O’Neal is the only son of actors Ryan O’Neal, a star of TV and film, and Farrah Fawcett, the ’70s icon and model whose acting career skyrocketed after her role in TV’s “Charlie’s Angels.” Fawcett died in 2009, at age 62, after a three-year battle with anal cancer.
According to a copy of Fawcett’s will, obtained by RadarOnline, the actress left most of her money — $4.5 million — to Redmond O’Neal, who was in a court-mandated drug rehab program at the time, according to ABC News.
Unlike his famous parents, Redmond O’Neal had only a few minuscule brushes with Hollywood, which included voicing the character of “Squirt” in the 1998 animated film “The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars.” (In the same movie, his mother voiced the character of “Faucet.”)
In 2015, his half sister, Oscar-winning actress Tatum O’Neal, told People magazine that Redmond’s drug addiction was spiraling out of control and that she had urged him to go to 12-step meetings with her.
“I love him, but I have never seen a more scary side of addiction,” Tatum O’Neal, who famously has battled her own drug addictions, told the magazine. “He’s got addiction problems so bad that it breaks my heart. Nobody knows what to do with Redmond. From what I’ve seen, there is no way he’s going to survive.”